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The most difficult age for children to process divorce

Most children find dealing with changes very difficult. So, when couples in Massachusetts make the decision to divorce, telling their children must be done in a way that is not only age-appropriate, but which is in keeping with their best interests, including their emotional well-being. Children younger than three years of age may not understand what’s happening, but older kids will recognize and understand the changes that are happening.

Psychologists say that children around the age of 10 or 11 seem to have the most difficulty after being told their parents are divorcing. By this age, a child can reason and usually understands what a divorce may mean in terms of a shifting family dynamic, especially since children of this age tend to be more egocentric. Although negative emotions associated with a divorce are common for children, parents need to be mindful when these start to pose a problem.

Routines should be kept as consistent as possible for children and if there are signs that a child is having difficulty coping, parents might wish to think about enlisting the help of a family therapist. Remind children that what is happening is not their fault and they are loved and supported by both parents. Most children will generally ask for help when they need it, but it is a parent’s responsibility to provide that help when they believe it’s necessary.

A Massachusetts attorney may be able to help a client to make divorce easier for his or her children. A lawyer may be able to offer help by way of aiding in the writing of a co-parenting agreement, or acting as a mediator in certain situations. The bottom line is doing what is in the best interests of the children, even when it may be inconvenient or difficult.


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